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Murtaugh After-School Program Gets Big Boost

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By Jay Michaels

Murtaugh, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The tiny town of Murtaugh is a big winner when it comes to its after-school program. And hundreds of kids will benefit from it for the next five years.

Paige Widmier, Murtaugh Afterschool Director, says, "We live so far out of town. It's 25 miles in either direction, so it's hard for a lot of our families to drive back and forth. It's time consuming, and financially, it's hard as well."

The Murtaugh School District is expanding its after school program thanks to a recent grant. The $600,000 award from 21st Century Community Learning Centers will allow them to increase their after school program to four days a week, instead of the only two days a week it was before. This is good for the next five years.

So what are these kids learning after getting help with their schoolwork?

Second grader Katie Alcala says, "Cooking, sports, dance, cheer, tumbling."

These students are learning the fine art of playing chess, which you probably wouldn't expect in an after-school program. Juggling, engineering, and exercise club are other popular activities, as well as sewing and a 4-H sponsored nutrition class.

The kids also learn both indoor and outdoor sports so they can stay physically active all year long. Roughly half the students in Murtaugh take part in the programs before and after school.

Murtaugh Afterschool Director Lilia Gill says, "We've got 270 kids total, I'm thinking around here. And then the students that are enrolled in the program about about 136 kids right now."

They're learning what they need to have a healthy and well-informed future.

December 16, 2013.


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